SEW science banners unveiled

Two local schools used sewing and science to create banners illustrating their recent topics of study. The Sewing Rooms’ tutor Laura Scott, supported by the Coop, worked with students from St. Richard’s and St. Thomas primary schools.

The creativity of young children is always inspiring! Great job to all the students who took part!


Co-founder Paula’s story of social entrepreneurship is one of the 100 published by Gulnaz Brennan in her book 100 Women Stories. Launched at an event in late March 2019, the book brings together the inspirational stories of 100 women from across Bolton and beyond who are changing their lives and the lives of those around them through their work and passion. Congratulations to all involved!

It’s the Age of Inspiration!

With support from UnLtd, Transforming Ageing and Capacity Lab, The Sewing Rooms’ wellbeing events are proving to be a wonderful success! A combination of music, chat, education, fun and food, the Age of Inspiration events are designed to help older people connect with others in their local area. For people at high risk of social isolation, the events put a smile on faces from the moment everyone walks in the door.

Talks about ways to incorporate the Five Ways of Wellbeing into daily life are interspersed with live musical performances, stand-up comedy and other inspirational experiences. Feedback from some of the more than 150 people who attended the Huyton event earlier this year includes:

  • “It’s absolutely fantastic”
  • “I loved the talks”
  • “It’s a fabulous day”
  • “It makes you think about what more you could be doing to connect with others”
  • “Everybody’s talking to people they don’t know”

Check back regularly for forthcoming events.

Congratulations! Paula Highly Commended in the 2019 Inspire Awards!

The Inspire Awards‘ Women in Social Enterprise category celebrates women working in a leadership role and or as founders of a social enterprise who truly demonstrate and communicate an impact with stakeholders, are genuinely engaged with employees, and trade for the benefit of the community.

Congratulations to Paula for being Highly Commended!

“I can’t quite believe it,” said Paula! “I’m very proud to have been nominated alongside so many inspiring colleagues! Well done to everyone!”

Alternative Ascot Day – 21 June 2019!

Alternative Ascot Day 2019 Started more than 30 years ago by The Sewing Rooms’ co-founder Paula, when she and a bunch of girlfriends missed their train, Alternative Ascot has raised thousands of pounds for causes across the country. This year, proceeds are going towards The Sewing Rooms’ forthcoming programmes and expansion into even more local communities.

Held at the Lancashire Manor Hotel in Skelmersdale, the day was a fabulous success! Tickets sold out, the entertainment was sensational and best of all, friends, neighbours and colleagues got together in support of social enterprise!

Cofounder Paula featured at Manchester Big Heart Skills event

Speaking as part of a panel of “trailblazing women changemakers across the NW managing community enterprise manufacturing ventures, practical arts and cultural changemaking workshops,” The Sewing Rooms’ co-founder Paula provided insight and tips on “growing your venture through supply chain development.” The quarterly Lunch and Learn series is hosted by Flourish CIC in partnership with the Big Heart Skills Network. This event was held on 16 May 2019.

Both Paula and Maureen are available for speaking engagements and have a wealth of insight to share about their work in social business. Please get in touch!

Join us for Biophilia Walks!

From Saturday 8 June 2019, the Growing Strong programme is hosting a series of weekly walks to music for new and expectant mothers. Led by Michelle Parkinson, the walks use silent disco technology to provide a playlist of music designed especially to enhance walkers’ wellbeing. “The music is a huge part of the experience,” says Michelle. “It has been curated to destress, uplift and refresh the women involved.”

Walks leave from the Skelmersdale Library in Southway every Saturday and Wednesday at 1030am and 1230pm both days.

Full details are below. We hope to see you there!

Maureen honoured at Buckingham Palace

The Sewing Rooms co-founder Maureen Fazal was honoured at the 2019 Queen’s Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. Maureen was recognised for her years of passionate dedication to helping women and other vulnerable people not only find their feet, but also to go on to thrive and develop, through creative, empathetic, entrepreneurial support.

While there, she and Paula bumped into old friend Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, and reminisced about their work together more than 30 years ago. The project was called Tomorrow’s People Today and was a forerunner of social enterprise.

It was a grand day out! Congratulations, Maureen!

The Sewing Rooms shortlisted in BIBA awards

Lancashire’s largest and longest running business awards programme, the Be Inspired Business Awards (BIBAs) connect innovators across Lancashire who are driving growth and promoting excellence. The Sewing Rooms are proud to have made it through the rigorous application process to the judging stage and will be attending interviews in the coming weeks. Congratulations to our team of dedicated creatives who help make our success possible.

Paula nominated for the 2019 Inspire Awards

We’re SEW proud to announce that co-founder Paula is a finalist in the Women in Social Enterprise category of the 2019 Inspire Awards.

“The Inspire Women Awards celebrate the huge wealth of outstanding contributions women have made to the wider Bolton area, including surrounding areas of Greater Manchester, Lancashire and NorthWest.

“Now in its fifth year, the 2019 event will be packed with stories of unsung heroes, community champions and women who have gone above and beyond in the course of their work, service and passions.”

The celebration and awards evening will be on 22 June 2019; we’ll be sure to provide an update on the event! Thanks so much to the person who nominated Paula!